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Live talk available at the below date and time. The Electrical Industries Charity presents a wellbeing series of inspirational speakers and leading experts in mental health, law, and reliance. The series is uplifting and educational on a range of issues impacting our industry. Format of the series will be a 50-minute virtual presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers facilitated by the Charity CEO, Tessa Ogle.

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When booked for events, Daniel arms audiences with the strategies needed to turn their lives around. For corporate clients, such a transformative impact will improve the productivity and wellbeing of their workplace.

Daniel has spent well over a decade aiding his patient’s emotional recovery, to overcome disorders including depression, anxiety, stress, and more. As the world of work continues to ramp up the pressure, workplace stress has become a prevalent issue faced by employees everywhere. Daniel is on the frontlines of this battle; with CBT and hypnotherapy, he is changing people’s perception of their work/life balance. As specified in his book, The Four Thoughts That F*ck You Up, Daniel helps sufferers tackle their negative emotions head-on.

Having worked as a journalist during the early years of his career, Daniel knows more than most the pressure of strict deadlines and unrealistic expectations. Since then, he has worked at the Priory Hospital Bristol, and ran multiple successful clinics and private practices across the country. With a BA in Journalism and Sociology, an MSc in Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and diplomas in Clinical Hypnotherapy and CBT, Daniel is a highly qualified professional, and experienced, psychotherapist.

At the Royal Brompton Hospital, Daniel specialised in Cardiac Syndrome X, a complex yet debilitating pain disorder, while at the Occupational Health Division of Medicentre he worked with addicts and those suffering from work-related stress. His life-changing CBT treatment supplies patients with a framework for better health, made possible with his judgment-free practice and therapy dog, Lara. His rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier has become a superstar in her own right and has appeared in several publications – she may even make an appearance at your event!

When booked for events, Daniel delivers actional strategies for mental wellbeing with charm and professionalism. His expert manner of tackling such challenging topics as depression and addiction instantly puts his audience at ease, while his solution-driven approach to workplace-stress benefits business leaders and their employees alike. He has previous spoken for the Time to Change mental health campaign, supplying both workshops, educational lectures, and insightful speeches. A therapist like Daniel will leave a transformative impact at events.


 
February 2022

This February, we will be discussing addiction and mental health. Did you know that individuals with a substance issue are most likely to also suffer with a mental illness? In the electrical industry, there was a 217% rise in addiction from 2020, with cocaine being the main drug of choice. Research has shown that within the industry, alcohol consumption increased to 11 units a week, which rose from 8 units.
With individuals who work in the electrical sector 2.7% as likely to commit suicide and 34% more likely to be diagnosed with a complex mental illness, understanding co-occurring disorders is important.
Addiction and mental illness are both prevalent in the industry and aren’t openly discussed enough. When someone is suffering, too often do they feel alone and misunderstood. Here at the Electrical Industries Charity, we provide ongoing support for the people within our industry.


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Co-occurring disorders, also referred to as a dual diagnosis or comorbidity, is often used to describe a situation where an individual is diagnosed with more than one disorder at the same time. Individuals who simultaneously struggle with both a mental health and substance use disorder are said to have co-occurring disorders—also referred to as a dual diagnosis.


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Addiction is a common problem, but help is available. Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you. Addiction is most commonly associated with gambling, drugs, alcohol and smoking, but it's possible to be addicted to just about anything.


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Today, it’s widely accepted by major scientific associations that addiction is a medical illness. The National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA] and the American Psychiatric Association [APA] both define addiction as a “brain disease,” and the DSM-V lists criteria for classifying addiction as a mental health condition called “Substance Use Disorder.”
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Living with mental illness or a mental health condition can put individuals at a higher risk of drug and alcohol addiction. The 7 most common types of Co-Occurring Disorders are:
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • PTSD
  • Personality disorders and mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Anxiety and substance abuse:

Individuals struggling with anxiety are at a significant risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol due to the symptoms of the mental illness. As unwanted symptoms develop, individuals who have anxiety may turn to substances to self-medicate and relax, putting the taxing symptoms on hold for a short time. People may use alcohol and drugs as an outlet to escape the reality of anxiety and produce a sense of happiness.

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Eating Disorders and substance abuse:

Substance abuse problems may begin before or during an eating disorder, or even after recovery. Up to 50% of individuals with eating disorders abused alcohol or illicit drugs, a rate five times higher than the general population. Up to 35% of individuals who abused or were dependent on alcohol or other drugs have also had eating disorders, a rate 11 times greater than the general population.

Bipolar disorder and substance abuse:

Although it’s not fully understood why, bipolar disorder makes people more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol often make the symptoms of bipolar disorder worse. People with no history of mental health issues may also develop bipolar disorder as a result of drug abuse.

PTSD and substance abuse:

PTSD, which impacts individuals both mentally and emotionally, causes severe anxiety, unwanted memories, and nightmares which impair day-to-day functioning. Most individuals with stress disorder will at some point seek relief from their painful experiences through the use of drugs or alcohol.

Personality/mood disorders and substance abuse:

Drug and alcohol abuse does not cause personality disorders, but addiction is a significant factor in the development and effects of several personality disorders. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience writes that as many as 66 percent of patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have a psychological dependence on drugs, alcohol, or both.

Schizophrenia and substance abuse:

Schizophrenia and addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), can often co-occur. In fact, an estimated 50 percent of individuals suffering from schizophrenia have a history of substance abuse. Although substance abuse cannot cause schizophrenia, it can act as an environmental trigger. Someone with existing genetic risk factors for the disorder may develop an active case of schizophrenia after extended substance abuse.

ADHD and substance abuse:

Several studies have shown a strong connection between ADHD, drug abuse, and alcoholism. ADHD is five to 10 times more common among adult alcoholics than it is in people without the condition. Among adults being treated for alcohol and substance abuse, the rate of ADHD is about 25%. It is also more common for children with ADHD to start abusing alcohol during their teenage years.

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Often, individuals who require treatment for drug and alcohol addiction are diagnosed with common co-occurring disorders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 50% of individuals with a serious mental illness reported engaging in drug or alcohol abuse.

Although drug use and addiction can happen at any time during a person’s life, drug use typically starts in adolescence, a period when the first signs of mental illness commonly appear. Comorbid disorders can also be seen among youth. During the transition to young adulthood (age 18 to 25 years), people with comorbid disorders need coordinated support to help them navigate potentially stressful changes in education, work, and relationships. Early drug use is a strong risk factor for later development of substance use disorders, and it may also be a risk factor for the later occurrence of other mental illnesses.


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Addiction has risen by a staggering 217% within the electrical industry with cocaine the main drug of choice, but alcohol consumption also up 38%. Unfortunately, individuals with a substance abuse issue are also more likely to have experience of mental illness. EIC provides ongoing support for those in the industry with mental health disorders. With our workers 34% more likely to be diagnosed with a complex mental illness and 2.7% more likely to complete suicide, mental illness is widespread in our industry.

Ranging from anxiety and eating disorders to personality disorders and schizophrenia, people affected by mental illness often turn to substances to self-medicate, using alcohol and drugs to escape anxiety. This often ends up making symptoms worse instead. While substance abuse doesn’t cause mental health disorders, it’s certainly a factor in the development of a number of disorders, often acting as a trigger for people predisposed. This was the case with Dave, coming from a family that had a history of depression and psychosis. His parents worked long hours, often leaving him at home for extended periods of time and, as a teenager, he’d invite friends to the house to smoke marijuana. By the time he was 16, Dave was smoking marijuana every day. Although addiction or mental illness can happen at any time, drug use or the first signs of mental illness often start in adolescence.

Around this time, Dave started an apprenticeship and was the youngest worker on site. He started going out with the team on Thursday and Friday nights and his drug habit increased progressively until he was using MDMA and ecstasy every weekend. With his increased drug use, Dave’s moods got progressively worse. His sleep deteriorated, making it harder to get out of bed every morning as he needed more drugs to reach the highs previously experienced. His college work starting to slip, and he was increasingly late for work.

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Following an incident at work, Dave found himself undergoing a performance management review. To ease his anxiety, he smoked marijuana and took multiple ecstasy tablets. As a result, he started to hallucinate, become aggressive and was increasingly unfocused. His erratic behaviour was noted by superiors and the EIC arranged a psychiatric assessment. Diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis, Dave was hospitalised for three months giving him the opportunity to get the support he needed and complete a detox programme. He was assigned a therapy team and was able to stabilise his addictive behaviour, regain his mental health, and eventually return to work.

The help Dave was able to access was due to the support of the EIC and the powerLottery. This meant Dave got the medical treatment he required instead of losing his job. Without powerLottery, EIC would not be able to offer support to people like Dave. That’s why we need you to become a powerLottery player to help EIC to continue supporting our industry members. powerLottery is the only lottery made for our industry by our industry. It gives players 40 chances to win cash prizes ranging from £50 to £1,000 every single month. A £10,000 draw bi-yearly gives you even more opportunity to win BIG. A new car, a holiday in the sun, a kitchen re-fit or a brand-new wardrobe… Think of all the different ways you could spend £10,000.

To sign up to play the powerLottery today, click here: https://www.electricalcharity.org/lottery


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It is not always easy to answer the question: “Did the substance abuse problem or the mental health disorder occur first?” In some cases, it appears that the substance abuse issue predated the mental illness; in other cases, it appears that the mental illness predated the substance use disorder. In many cases, it can’t be determined. Some drugs are thought to potentially elicit or mimic symptoms of certain mental illnesses which might, in some cases with chronic use, lead to the development of more lasting mental conditions. An example of this is cannabis and cannabis-related psychosis. Research indicating that heavy users of marijuana are at a significantly higher risk to later develop psychosis has been used to support the idea that substance use itself may predate the arrival of mental health issues.9

In the other direction, some posit that unmanaged mental health issues might drive the initiation and eventual compulsive use of certain substances. In lay circles, and even in some clinical circles, this is the very popular notion of self-medication, where an individual who has symptoms of a mental health disorder begins to use drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress of those symptoms, such as with schizophrenia and tobacco use disorder.


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There is a plethora of symptoms to look out for if you think someone in your life is suffering with a Co-Occurring Disorder. Some of the signs are:

  1. Changes in Basic Functioning: They might have changed their eat and sleeping habits, as well as eating/sleeping too much.
  2. Lack of interest: The hobbies they used to enjoy might no longer be a part of their routine.
  3. Mood swings: Their mood swings could be high and low, with an increase in irritability.
  4. No self-awareness: They might become delusional, angry and aggressive towards anyone who mentions the change in them.
  5. Withdrawal: If you notice that they are distant and choose to be isolated, this is also a symptom to watch out for.
  6. Physical Changes: They may have an increased or decreased libido. They also may just physically not feel well, without a reason.
  7. Behaviour changes: You might notice that they start participating in risky behaviours, such as substance abuse.
  8. Difficulty functioning: They start to feel like they can’t function without the substance of choice. You may notice that they are in trouble within their workplace or educational facility because they cannot function properly.
  9. Inability to quit: They can’t stop using the substance when asked to stop. When they have tried to quit, it has worsened the other symptoms.

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Many adults have a mental illness and a substance use disorder (co-occurring disorder). Integrated care is recommended. The presence of two or more disorders can complicate diagnosis and treatment. Integrating both screening and treatment for mental and substance use disorders leads to a better quality of care and health outcomes for those living with co-occurring disorders by treating the whole person.

People with co-occurring disorders are more likely to be hospitalized than people with a mental or substance use disorder alone. Integrated treatment coordinates mental and substance use interventions by linking people to other providers who can deliver individualized and personalized services to treat the physical and emotional aspects of mental and substance use disorders. There are three models for delivering care for co-occurring disorders: coordinated, co-located, and fully integrated.


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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends integrated treatment as a more effective, targeted approach for people with co-occurring disorders. The American Psychiatric Association also recommends integrated treatment, as does the American Psychological Association. In fact, this coordinated approach to healthcare that integrates treatment and interventions for mental health and substance-abuse, instead of treating each disorder separately, has now become the gold standard.

Some of the benefits of the treatment include:

  1. Assist patients in understanding the role that substances play in their life—this arises from a psychological/psychiatric approach to the substance abuse as well as the mental health issue.
  2. Provides patients with a chance to learn about how substances interact with the mental illness disease process and with other medications—and use these issues as the backdrop for exploring their own substance use.
  3. Offers therapy designed specifically for the unique needs of people with co-occurring disorders, whether that counselling takes place in individual, group, or family sessions, or in a mix of these.
  4. Help patients into recovery by providing more holistic support services, such as employment assistance.
  5. Assists patients in identifying individualized recovery goals and learning how recovery from each illness will work.

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Each treatment plan is customized for the needs of the person. Some programs may involve:

  1. One on one counselling: This method helps a patient to find the root cause of their addictions. One on one counselling is a good way to help the patient learn new coping mechanisms and can also help to treat underlying medical conditions.
  2. CBT: This is a type of psychotherapy that teaches individuals to change their behaviours and reactions by focusing on the way their thoughts, beliefs and attitudes directly affect their behaviours.
  3. Support groups: Peer support groups can be the key to addictions and co-occurring disorder recovery for many individuals. By working as a team, those receiving treatment can discuss their challenges and techniques for coping with other individuals who are facing or have faced the same experiences.
  4. Medication-assisted treatment: In some cases, clients may require medication-assisted treatment (MAT). By using certain medications to manage symptoms that are associated with mental health disorders, individuals can begin to manage these problems without the use of alcohol or illicit drugs.
  5. Aftercare: Aftercare is provided as part of a long-term addiction treatment program. Upon completion of an intensive or general outpatient program, individuals can participate in aftercare, which typically involves a combination of weekly or bi-weekly group therapy and regular one-on-one counselling.

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The complex and interrelated nature of co-occurring disorders means that treatment models targeting only one diagnosis at a time are based in a fundamentally flawed understanding of co-occurrence as two or more ailments occurring in isolation from each other. In fact, they are deeply intertwined and must be treated as such. Treating co-occurring disorders together allows for holistic recovery, addressing the whole person rather than an isolated facet of suffering in order to achieve better outcomes.


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Relapse is a common occurrence even after successfully completing treatment, because addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. Within the first 12 months of recovery, someone suffering with addiction is most likely to relapse if they are not vigilant about a recovery plan. To prevent this from happening, we recommend:

  1. Surrounding yourself in a positive environment: The people around you have a massive impact on your mental health, so by surrounding yourself with positive, caring individuals, you will be reducing the likelihood of relapsing.
  2. Not to be overconfident: The road to recovery is a long and winding journey. It’s important to remember to take it slow and be cautious about the decisions you make.
  3. Trying to understand your feelings: When in recovery, its important to try and understand why you want to relapse. When you figure out what is causing it, you have more control over it.
  4. Distractions are key: Finding yourself a hobby, hanging out with friends and learning techniques to ignore cravings are great ways to prevent a relapse. Did you know most cravings disappear in 30 minutes?
  5. Share your thoughts: It’s important to talk about what you’re feeling instead of bottling it up. If you have thought about relapsing, discuss it with a loved one.

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If you have severe mental health problems and problematic substance misuse, you may be given what is known as a 'dual diagnosis' – when both problems are diagnosed.

If you have a dual diagnosis, a range of services can help you:

  1. Mental health and social services
  2. Housing
  3. Self-help groups
  4. Support in the criminal justice system
  5. Drug and alcohol support services

Helpful links:

If you are struggling with your mental health, an addiction problem and/or just want to seek some advice, here are some helpful links that you may find useful:

SOS Silence of Suicide: https://bit.ly/3GOVWfC
Mind for mental health: https://bit.ly/3q35hdX
Time To Change: https://bit.ly/3wfLtFa
Recovery: https://bit.ly/3q8M1M2
Mind for addiction: https://bit.ly/3o3Q9KO
NHS: https://bit.ly/3q8MbD8

 


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One of the keys to a better version of you, mentally and physically, is sleeping well. We want all of our industry members to sleep as well as they can that’s why EIC have partnered with Sleepstation. Sleepstation is a clinically validated sleep improvement programme that can help you learn how to control and optimise your sleep to get the best sleep possible. Designed by experts and backed by science, the online service is proven to combat even the most severe insomnia. Their team will help you identify the underlying causes of your sleep problem and provide the personal support and guidance needed to improve your sleep. Sleepstation delivers remote care with a personal touch and that's what makes it so effective. Therapeutic support through Sleepstation is available to those in need and meeting our charity eligibility criteria.

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